Hen attacked by hawk, head laceration, injury to her 'good' eye. Need advice for my chicken baby.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by missmissi, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. missmissi

    missmissi Out Of The Brooder

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    Babe is my special girl. She's a 2 y/o Barred Rock. She was trampled by the other 3 on our way home when I bought them. Near death when we opened the box, I found advice on the internet and nursed her for 3 weeks till she was strong. She's always been 'slow' but she's very sweet and appreciates my company. Yes, we bring her inside our home ALOT.

    She was attacked by a hawk on Jan. 1 (2 days ago). My husband saw it happen and because of our screams, dogs barking and aggressive movement from the horses a few feet away the hawk flew away. This happened 12 feet from the east wall of our house, with multiple other animals around!

    She has a shallow laceration along the base of her comb and probably a concussion from the hit. I am mostly concerned about her eye.

    There was a bit of dried blood coming out of one nostril this morning - the opposite side from the injured eye.

    The injured eye leaked a small amount of clear fluid for a short time after the incident, and she would not allow us to touch that part of her head, it seamed quite painful. The eye won't open, and she already had limited vision from the eye that's not been injured, so she's 95% blind right now. The injured eye has some bruising on it and some crustiness. She's been drinking well with our assistance, by a small cup placed to her beak, I believe she's been getting the injured eye wet on purpose while drinking, to soothe it. She sleeps 90% of the day. When we notice she's awake, we handle her to encourage water intake and possibly food, which is egg yolk with water, she won't take any feed, scratch or meal worms at all, liquid seems our best option.

    We've made a 'nest' for her in a square metal tub filled with hay to cover the bottom, it provides ample space for Babe to turn around, 1.75 times her body length, and we secure a narrow cedar branch at night for her to roost close to the bottom, without her tail feathers touching the wall of the tub, plus a hanging waterer - just in case, ya know. She cuddles the waterer but doesn't drink from it. She laid an egg this morning :)

    What would you do, right now? She is among the first group we've ever had, I'm quite the novice. Please let me know what I can do to make her more comfortable or if there is anything medically I should do. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I would suggest getting a Neomycin/Polymyxin/ Dexamethasone ophthalmic ointment (or something similar) and coating her eye with it. Good luck.
     
  3. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some items to get right now are Neosporine for her eye, Tylan 50 or Denegard will likely save her life, Save A Chick and SuperBoost - this is a powerful mix of vitamins, minerals and a general antibiotic. Ask advice from where you buy them how to use them and follow the instructions.

    Eating - make a mash of her feed mixed with plain, unflavored yogurt and put some into her beak to encourage her to eat. Put 1 tsp of SuperBoost into 1 gallon of water and get her to drink; the sooner you do this the better. Replace the water/SuperBoost mixture every 24 hours and make sure she drinks. If you have to use a dropper to get the mixture into her - do it. Take about 2 hard boiled eggs and put them through a processor, encourage her to eat.

    Its saved my birds on more than one occasion. Use the Neosporine with a soft cloth or q-tip to clean her eye on a often.

    Keep posting on her condition. Its good that you have her inside.
     
  4. missmissi

    missmissi Out Of The Brooder

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    If she's lost her eye, should I take her to the vet to remove it to prevent infection? I'm not trying to be funny, I really don't know.
     
  5. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Absolutely. Don't wait, just go.
     
  6. missmissi

    missmissi Out Of The Brooder

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    We saw the vet today just before lunch. He says Babe's left cornea was punctured:( and of course her sight is not likely to return to her eye. There is also the injury to her head as well.

    He said hawks typically pounce on top of their prey then crack the base of the skull along with the first vertebra with their beak to kill the animal, then carry it to a private location if necessary.

    He cleaned her eye and applied ointment, which we will continue 2x per day. She received 2 injections: antibiotic and anti-inflammatory, to each thigh.

    Babe is a permanent housepet now. I ordered diapers so she will be able to roam the house freely, if it's safe for her. She'll need an enclosure to have a roost and because of the previous neurological challenges she had, along with the added difficulties from her recent head trauma - I am currently reteaching her to eat and drink, I hope that she will one day find the food and water bowls on her own.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to say it - YOU ARE PRETTY AMAZING PEOPLE - There are people on this forum that would kill her and get rid of her because of an injury that was not her fault. But sometimes, a bird touches far more than the cost of saving her and Babe is an extremely lucky bird to have owners like you! I have no doubt that as you work with her, she will respond to your re-teaching.

    Most people don't seem to understand that these birds are not ours, they were created by the Lord and given to us to take care of and be the custodians of. Man may choose the path of least resistance but God chooses the paths of least likelihood. He always chooses the underdog, the oppressed and helpless. I believe that every animal He created is a lesson to the human race. Why is it we think a dog or cat is more worthy of life that a humble chicken? Chickens are unique birds that we can bond with the same as a cat or dog; they are intelligent and responsive while providing food, companionship and friendship.

    Its very refreshing to have people like you on this forum who believe strongly in the sanctity of life, no matter how low and humble people consider it to be.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. missmissi

    missmissi Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2013
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    [​IMG]

    Pics of Babe's new 'indoor coop' etc.
    - Sitting next to me on the sofa drinking water, she needs help because neurologically she can't find food or water herself.
    - keeping me company while I'm reading my Kindle.
    - shots of the Great Dane crate, bowls we hope she will use soon (which she can't step into) and cedar stake roosting pole DH made plus an outdoor rug (can't hose it off outside when needed) for traction. It's a work in progress. She's a cuddler so I'll add the stuffed toys she had when they were in the brooder.

    She has water and food/mush in her bowl while I'm out this morning - while I'm driving DH to the airport - with scratch feed and minced spinach leaves to play with.

    Diapers are coming from Louise's Country Closet. If you have any better ideas for the floor please let me know. Thanks!
     
  9. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard that newspaper shouldn't be used because of the ink. If you replaced the outdoor rug with a large plastic tray or something similar to cover the entire bottom of the crate to about an 1 1/2 inches deep, you could put sand in there. Great for traction and better for her feet, she can take sand baths to keep her feathers in good order and its a very easy clean up, kind of like clumping kitty litter.

    I'm making my own yogurt this morning using my egg incubator. I just heat 1 gallon of milk to 100 F, I don't add sugar because the natural dairy milk has plenty of that already, so I add 2 heaping tbsp of plain, unflavored bought yogurt, put it in a bowl add it to my incubator and maintain it at about 95-100F for 8 hours.
    I fed a treat today of their chick feed, yogurt and mashed banana. They loved it! It was gone in a flash.
     
  10. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By the way, Babe is sure a pretty bird. What breed is she?
     

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